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Found 270 results

  1. I was on a six-year cruising hiatus, until one day, while sitting at work, I had that "I need a vacation!" moment. So I requested time off, picked a cruise, and the rest is history. Like the previous times, I went solo. I just wasn't solo for very long, since I met some very fun people during the cruise. This cruise was different from the previous two in a sense that my pre-cruise day was just as fun as the actual days on the ship, rather than being an equivalent of standing in line at a Disney World ride. It was totally worth flying in a day early and the extra costs associated with it. I was floored by how much I liked Long Beach: I got to stay on a historic ship and try In-N-Out Burger. Day 0: Pre-cruise hotel I arrived to LAX in early afternoon, and hopped on the Super Shuttle to the Queen Mary in Long Beach. It's a hotel built inside a refurbished historic ship. The shuttle ride was mostly uneventful. I ended up talking to a couple headed to the Imagination that day. Since I've been on that ship before, I gave them a few pointers. When I was arrived at my hotel, I was floored: it just breathes history! If you overlook the fact that people wear modern clothes and carry cell phones, it might as well be year 1919, not 2019. Almost everything is original and decently preserved, outside of usual wear-and-tear. My room was nice too, although the HVAC system, being as old as it is, made the room very cold at night. The extra blanket I requested was only marginally helpful. After getting settled in and putzing around Queen Mary for a few hours, I hopped on the AquaLink (a water bus) into town for dinner; there's are normal buses too. The Queen Mary hotel is located in an isolated but safe area, so you need to get on a bus to go anywhere, unless you rent a car or pay through the nose for meals at the hotel. And if you ride the AquaLink instead of a normal bus, some destinations require walking from the docks. But in Southern California weather, that's rarely, if ever, a problem. Being a Midwesterner, I picked a very California dinner place: In-N-Out Burger. I ended up having some good conversations with the locals on the AquaLink. When I got there, I had a double-double animal style, fries well-done, and a soda. After dinner, I went to a nearby CVS to buy a bottle of wine for the cruise and some bedtime snacks. The local employees were very friendly, and engaged me in conversation. The walk back to the AquaLink dock was a bit chilly; it cools off quickly in the evenings on the West Coast, apparently. The rest of the night consisted of more putzing around Queen Mary and drinking an overpriced beer at the hotel bar. A nice send-off drink at ORD before my flight. Also a quick introduction of yours truly. This is what my hotel looked like. It was built during the same time period as the Titanic, and shares some of its architectural elements. This is what the hallways on the Queen Mary look like. All original elements. This is what my room looked like, right before I settled in. Also all original elements. The HVAC system made it too cold, but I toughed it out. Ts This used to be the bridge on the Queen Mary. Now open to the hotel guests and restaurant patrons as a museum-like area. The usual bucket list dinner for anyone visiting California. (cue Homer Simpson voice) "Mmm... In-N-Out Burger!" It was good indeed. This is what the Queen Mary looked like when I saw it from the AquaLink on the way back. It's gotta be the classiest-looking ship I ever saw. Hope you enjoyed the account of my pre-cruise day. More to come.
  2. We haven’t sailed Carnival in 15 years but we'll be on the Imagination in December in an Oceanview room. My DH has all his gadgets to plug in and charge as well as his Cpap machine. We were just wondering how many outlets there would be and how long an extension cord to bring? Thanks for your help.
  3. Curious if you can make reservations online ahead like RCI? Or do you have to do it once onboard? Or can you even make a reservation on Carnival if you have your time dining? I'll be on the Imagination in 13 days and would like to pre-reserve a dining time if possible. Thanks! Robin
  4. Hi there! Leaving for my cruise on Imagination on September 22nd and was looking at the alcohol choices in the Fun Shops and don't see Baileys as an option. I REALLY enjoy Baileys in my coffee in the morning when I'm on holidays. Anyone know if it is available on this ship and why it wouldn't be showing as a purchase option? Thanks!
  5. I know there's an Inspiration review going on right now with the same itinerary, but I decided to post my review anyway. We did NOT get off the ship in Ensenada. Please see the other review if you wish to learn more about this port. We drive to the port of Long Beach, about a 3.5 hour drive depending on traffic. The last time we were at that port it was to board the Splendor to the Mexican Riviera. We got there about 11:40 and were told the parking garage was closed until noon. Huh? This had never happened before and as our check-in time was for noon it seemed odd that we couldn't even enter the parking area until that time. After reading a few comments on CC, I decided maybe we could get there around 10:30 to beat any kind of lock-down of the garage. We arrived at 11:00, no goon prevented us from entering the garage, and were inside the terminal by ten after. We'd stopped first to give our single bag to the porter. It might be my imagination, but the porters at Long Beach seem extra nice. That's not me. That's my better half. I thought we might be seated in the priority lounge, but boarding had already begun so we were whisked through check-in and security and were on board having lunch in no time at all. Even though Carnival has check-in times, I'd hazard a guess that for these 4-day cruises the crowds aren't so big that this matters. It was a holiday week, so I was expecting a lot more people. Nope. I mentioned how empty the terminal was to the lady that checked us in and she said it would get a lot busier after noon. Once on board we wanted to drop our backpack off in our cabin, which was U206, an Oceanview. A Carnival employee stopped us before we could open the door to the cabin area to make sure we had FTTF or were P/D. Once he checked he waved us through. We weren't in the room for 5 minutes when our steward knocked. Norman welcomed us on board and offered us once or twice daily service. We selected morning service and he went on to ask us if we needed anything else: ice, bathrobes, extra pillows or blankets. Norman even moved all the luggage into his cabins. There were absolutely no bags cluttering the hallway when we came down later. He was amazing! The air conditioning in this cabin worked overtime, which I liked. It was COLD and perfect. I'll mention the door is magnetic since I noticed a lot of magnetic decorations on other cabins. We saw a lot of groups on this cruise. We had a group just a couple doors down from us occupying several cabins. Each night several people would congregate in the hallway outside their cabins and keep the party going. I didn't complain since I expect that on short cruises, but it might bother someone else. I remember Soapgate on CC. People were having a hard time getting a bar of soap rather than having to use the liquid soap in the showers. We received bar soap, which I prefer. It comes in a little box rather than the old cellophane wrapper.
  6. Greetings, Experienced cruiser from NCL who decided to try the 4-Day Long-Beach to Ensanada itinerary. I have read a few posts regarding this itinerary. Has anyone sailed during December? What kind of weather did you have? Are the ships decorated for Christmas? I understand there could either be a party vibe, but that does not bother us. Boarding times - seems like Carnival you book a time to show up? Parking options besides the garage? Whats the earliest you have gotten off the boat? Thanks in advance for any responses.
  7. I'm booked for Panorama's inaugural cruise in December of 2019. It shows Faster To the Fun in the excursion's section of the website, but it also shows as "sold-out." It shows the price at $39.99 for the 3 day cruise. Not sure if anyone was actually able to purchase it, I certainly wasn't. I'm also booked for a 4-day cruise on the Imagination for June of 2020. I do not yet have the option of purchasing Faster to the Fun.
  8. I had a less than ideal cruise on the Imagination, but it was not the fault of the crew. It was a sort booze cruise out of miami to Nassau, and despite the prison yard demeanor of a few of the passengers - security was top notch and on it. But my last cruise on the Conquest - the problem was the crew. Not all of the crew of course, but there was a morale problem and I would not want to be on this ship again. Hoping this was an isolated situation and not the general direction of the cruise line, because it was in 2017 and my first carnival cruise in several years.
  9. Yes. In 2007 I booked an inside guarantee on the Imagination 8-day Mexican Riviera. We ended up with a balcony. I booked it nine months out and the cruise was in January which is usually a slower time.
  10. Nice start to the review! I look forward to more. I'll be interesting to see how the cruises on two sister ships with the same itinerary compare. You said you didn't go ashore in Ensenada; what did you do in Catalina? The Imagination was actually my first cruise ship. I sailed out of Miami, to Key West and Cozumel. That cruise and the friendly people I met got my cruising addiction started.
  11. This will be our first cruise out of Long Beach. So many questions! What is the weather like in January? What are the best excursions in each port?
  12. For the Imagination, there should be no problem, barring unforeseen circumstances. The terminal opens at 10:30 and the ship normally opens at 11:15. If everything goes normal! They have three lines, Priority-FTTF / on time / too early- too late. Guests are checked in, in that order. If you are there by 10:30 - 10:45 you should have no issue getting on the ship by 11:30. If everything goes normal. Rooms aren't ready till 1:30. Panorama- This is a brand new ship starting in December 2019. Terminal Times/ Boarding Times have not been finalized yet. It is a much larger ship and guests normally arrive early (Saturdays) and each line is long at terminal opening time, so they may adjust the time, 10:30 currently. Check in process goes very quickly as long as you have done your online check in. I would recommend FTTF to be assured to get in the terminal first and to your room early. Parking may be a hassle as Saturdays, the parking lot fills up quickly because they already have two ships out at sea. The number of FTTF rooms are limited and based on how many priority passengers there are. On Saturdays there are quite a few Platinum and above guests and especially with the Panorama being a new ship I would expect a lot of Priority Guests. Hope this helps
  13. Thanks for the info. Note that I have spa reservation on both the Panorama and the Imagination at 12pm on embarkation day, on different dates of course, so it appears that these reservations are common.
  14. 84 days until the Inspiration. I've never been on his ship but I have cruised the Imagination several times.
  15. I wasn't a fan of Sensation & just recently chose my short, cheap, interim cruise based on NOT sailing her again. I sailed on the Imagination prior so I knew going in what Fantasy class meant. I thoroughly enjoyed the Imagination. It wasn't the size or class. The ship just looked run down. Tears in public seating. Cracks in tile. Several more examples of more obvious wear & tear going unaddressed than I was used to or expecting. I admit the weather was blah & it was a VERY blah sailing passenger wise so that probably didn't help.
  16. I know I come on here and b**** constantly, but if there's one thing I love about Carnival, it's the crew (and John Heald). I even like my fellow passengers for the most part since they seem to be from working stock like me. I'm going to do a little review of my Imagination cruise and I have nothing but nice things to say about that ship's crew. Wow! I was more excited about our Imagination cruise than I am about our next Panorama cruise. I love those little ships!! Everything about them. 😍
  17. We dock at 7 am. Is it feasible to get a 10 am flight from Longbeach airport, if we do our best to get off the ship as soon at it docks? Next flight is 4.30 pm. Other alternative is to travel to LAX. Anyone been successful in getting wifi in the port so that I can call an Uber? Any help or advice would be very much appreciated. Thank you
  18. My husband and I purchased it for our 4-day Imagination cruise. I don't drink alcohol. DH is a moderate drinker. Even though money-wise it was completely NOT worth it, we both enjoyed not having to think about the added cost to our S&S account. In future we're going to get a $500 gift card, put that on our S&S account after we board and call that our "drink package."
  19. Oh, and we were on the Imagination, so we may have waved at you if you were outside watching us sail off into the sunset. It looked like there were two weddings happening on two different decks on the QM. Did you happen to notice them?
  20. We did it on the Imagination in 2018- it was fun. Great galley tour- lots of appetizers. The wine selection was decent, and the food was well prepared and plated very nicely. I do have our menu somewhere, if I can find it I will post it. Tim
  21. I just got home from the Imagination 4-day to Catalina and Ensenada. I guess the OP thought he was going to get a Princess experience on a much cheaper cruise and much older ship. I've been on Princess, Royal, Holland and have Crystal booked for the fall. I guess because I cut my teeth on Carnival, every other line seems like an upgrade. I'm still OK with Carnival and keep booking Carnival cruises, although I love, love, love the excitement of trying new lines. I have to say, the crew on the Imagination was one of the best, most energetic, happy, helpful group I've seen in ages. Even our steward was spot on. He wheeled all the luggage in his section into the cabins instead of leaving them in the passageway. He offered once or twice daily service, asked if we wanted ice, extra blankets, robes, anything at all. He's going to get major kudos when I send off the survey. I'm not going to talk about the food, though. I think I lost weight.
  22. We just got off the Imagination. In the buffet, the whipped spread was in a communal crock. A crock next to it had a bunch of clean butter knives. A third crock was labeled "used knives". No one used that crock of clean knives and seemed to use the butter knife that was sticking out of the butter crock. In the MDR, there are one or more small plates, a couple inches square, that hold an amount of whipped butter (spread, whatever) good enough for about 3 servings. You can always ask for more. Good table manners indicate you use your butter knife to scoop some spread onto your own bread plate rather than scooping from the communal plate and spreading directly onto your bread. Not everyone does this, though. I guess they didn't get the memo.
  23. We did the Imagination last January. It doesn’t offer a whole lot, but we found it very relaxing. We had time to play cards, hang at serenity and chill with our friends. It’s a great little sandwich cruise to get us over until out next big cruise.
  24. Glad you hated it! More cabin options for the wife and I! We love the Inspiration and Imagination. Being in San Diego, we routinely take this cruise every couple months. I find none of your cons to be an issue for us.
  25. We've been on the Fantasy out of Charleston and routinely take the Inspiration and Inspiration out of Long Beach. We love this class. We've never had a problem of any sort on this class and frankly we prefer this size over the mega ships now. We enjoy enjoy just heading up to Long Beach and taking a ship we know like the back of our hand. You see some of the same folks more often and I feel you can get to know the staff better. We don't mind the larger ships and will be taking a larger NCL ship out of Boston next week but it's just not the same. We often take first time cruisers on the Inspiration and Imagination as it gives them a taste of what cruising it like without completely overwhelming someone. I wish we could get a Fantasy class ship permanently here in San Diego.
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